There Are Now More Jobs Available Than Before the Pandemic. So Why Aren’t People Signing Up?
April 9, 2021
The re-opening of the US economy in the wake of vaccinations has led to a surge in job openings. There were 15 million position vacancies in mid-March, according to ZipRecruiter, with listings ranging from travel and leisure jobs to work opportunities in construction, logistics and warehousing. But the pandemic-induced decline in the labor force participation rate has not fully recovered, and many Americans who lost their employment a year ago have yet to return to work or engage in job-hunting. Some may be reluctant to return to the workplace due to lingering concerns about COVID-19, childcare and aging-parent needs, or home-schooling duties. Others may be holding out for better opportunities. Some employers cite the availability of generous unemployment benefit payments. “I had one guy quit who said, ‘I can make more on unemployment. I’ll take the summer off’,” said Robert Stevenson, CEO of Eastman Machine Company, a producer of machines that cut specialty fabrics for industry. “I told him I can’t guarantee you’ll have your job back. He said, ‘I’ll take my chances’.”
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